TTA Foundation scholarships helps students cover rising college costs

With families across Texas struggling with the rising cost of paying for college, the Texas Telephone Association Foundation is working to assist students in this challenge.

In the past 15 years, the average tuition and fees for a semester at a Texas public university has more than doubled. On average, the cost of attending college in Texas surpasses the combined cost of a student’s financial aid and expected family contribution by about $8,000 per year. Concerns are mounting that students are going hungry because the price to earn a degree has become so steep, according to a story in the Texas Tribune.

The TTA Foundation is helping students close the financial gap.

“Education is a critical issue for Texas telephone companies and the communities we serve,” said Bill Colston, Jr. of Riviera Telephone Company Inc. and chairman of the TTA Foundation. “Through this scholarship program, Texas telephone companies provide a tremendous benefit to our Texas students while making a significant investment in the development of our leaders of the future.”

The foundation this year will award six four-year scholarships of $2000 a year to students entering college for the 2018-2019 school year.

Since 1992, the TTA Foundation has awarded more than $330,000 in scholarships to Texas students. The foundation is a non-profit, philanthropic organization founded to help further the understanding of telephony and advance telecommunications as a career choice.

Currently several students are attending universities in Texas on TTA Foundation scholarships. These include: Addison Maynard of Conroe at Texas A&M University; Laura Martinez of Sherman at University of Texas at Austin: Makayla Meador of Clifton at Tarleton State University; McKenzie Hahn of Orange Grove at Texas A&M University; Sam Bertelso of Midland at University of Texas at Austin; Blake King of Rockdale at University of Texas at Austin; Samantha Agniel of Houston at Rice University; Daley Wylie of Whitewright at University of Texas at Austin; Nicole Poirot of Baytown at University of Texas at Austin; Lindsey Morrison of Frisco at Texas A&M University; Cesar Garcia, Jr. of Harlingen at Texas A&M University; Cory Hood of Burleson at Texas Christian University; Sean Farrell of Buda at Trinity University; Katherine Strain of Corpus Christi at University of Texas at Austin; Molly Adams of Fredericksburg at Texas A&M University; and Jamail Gaines of Houston at Texas A&M University.

To be eligible for a TTA Foundation scholarship, students must have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher and be planning to attend a Texas college or university in fall 2018.

Special consideration will be given to students planning to pursue a college degree in fields of study related to telecommunications such as math, business, education, technology, engineering and computer science. High school coursework and financial need also are considered.

More than 2000 applications were received this year and awardees will be announced later this spring.

The TTA scholarship program is made possible by contributions from TTA members and associate members.